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Landon Walker
Landon Walker

TRISHA Rape Story.pdf Fixed

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The woman who was beaten, raped and left for dead in a 1989 attack in Central Park says the thing that angered her the most as she recovered was that her family "saw me at my absolute worst."

TRISHA Rape Story.pdf

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She said she had wrestled with the decision for years about whether to come forward with her story, wondering: "Do I want to become more public? Do I want to share my story and try to give other people the sense that 'yes, it is possible that we can come back from whatever our circumstances are?' Or was it that I want people to know me not as the label of the Central Park Jogger, someone who has a head injury, and someone who's been raped.

But a judge late last year threw out the convictions after a convicted serial rapist and murderer, Matias Reyes, told New York prison officials that he alone raped the jogger. DNA testing confirmed his story. Reyes was 18 at the time of the crime.

"At what point did we cross the line from the fine and noble pursuit of genuine civil liberties to the reckless and dangerously permissive atmosphere which allows criminals of every age to beat and rape a helpless woman and then laugh at her family's anguish?" he continued in the ad.

"And I said, look this woman was raped, mugged, and thrown off a building -- thrown off a building on top of everything else," he continued. "She's got some major problems, to put it mildly. I said, 'of course I hate these people and let's all hate these people because maybe hate is what we need if we're gonna get something done.'"

Her call came in early June 2002, when I was more than halfway through the writing of this book, and left me too stunned to respond. Matias Reyes, a convicted murderer and serial rapist serving thirty-three years to life, claimed he alone had dragged me into a ravine, raped me, and left me for dead. DNA evidence placed him at the crime scene. He could not be charged because the statute of limitations in the case had expired.

Earlier this year, New York City settled one of the most controversial wrongful convictions over an infamous crime, the 1989 rape of a jogger in Central Park, by agreeing to a $41 million payout to the five men who were sent to prison as teens. Now, the Daily News reports that the city's lawyer originally suggested settling the case for much less money or going to trial.

On April 19th, 1989, Trisha Melli, an investment banker, jogging in Central Park was brutally raped and nearly beaten to death. Police arrested five black and Latino teens, ages 14 to 16, and the boys were later convicted. However, as it turned out, the police, eager for an arrest, apparently coerced them into confession during 24 hours of questioning. Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise served nearly six years in prison while Yusef Salaam served almost 13 years.

In 2002, Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau said (PDF) the convictions should be vacated, after an inmate named Matias Reyes, serving time for a rape-robbery, rape-murder and robbery, confessed to the 1989 Central Park rape. Testing showed his DNA matched the DNA found at the crime scene, and the five were set free. The Bloomberg administration avoided settling the case for years. 350c69d7ab


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